Secrets and favours

Silence is a rewarding comfort, and the only place to turn to when everything crumbles down. The walls that surrounded me and confined me with the precious silence hung with draperies and carpets, depicting the majestic views from the various landmarks of Azahla. I sat low in an armchair, entering into the comfort and warmth provided by this object. My twin swords lay on the rug, my eyes were closed, deep in thoughts. I rubbed my eyes with the tip of my fingers, scolding myself for what happened in the duel arena.

"I was weak," I muttered to myself, kicking the rug aside, moving my swords away from me. The draperies covered the tall, high windows, allowing as less sunlight as possible.

I heard light approaching footsteps coming into the room. Shizuma.

"You lost your mind out there in the duel." As if answering my thoughts; a soft, cold, melodic voice said.

"What kind of Black soul hunter do you want to be, Shizuma?" I asked, still with my eyes closed, "upon entering the forest you would give your location right away with your steps." Silence answered me.

"How about now, young man?" a whisper in my ears.

My eyelids flew up, my head snapped to my right, where Shizuma was stooped to my face level. I had been startled. Shizuma smiles pleasantly.

"I heard you brought Neil's ego down," I said breaking the uncomfortable silence that had fallen between us. Shizuma walked around the room, looking up to the colourfully painted ceiling, her long silver hair glistening due to the sun rays.

"As a favour," she replied.

I gave a knowing smile, "I should've guessed," I said in a low voice, "Candravar would ask you to interfere Axel's duel."

"Like he did with yours," her tone was soft yet rough. Her crystal blue eyes gave me an icy stare.

I frowned at her words, and slumped further into the armchair. "I don't want to talk about it," I remember with remorse those words spoken by Karion, your father a murderer, and your grandfather a coward. Jealousy sprang to my heart knowing that Shizuma had been raised and looked after by the headmaster and living Elder.

"You never want to," she said, "not ever since the three years we've known each other..."

I sighed, wishing her to leave the room. "You came to scold me?"

"No," she said, her tone was almost amiable, "Candravar knows you will be a great hunter, but he fears your emotions and resentment will consume you."

As if he knew anything about me?! I thought, biting my lower lip, suppressing my desire to scream at her to leave. I still remembered the very first day I was accepted to the Academy, Candravar was very civilized to me, and empathetic. He told me great things and complimented on my skills, but warned me about my temper. That is why I prefer to be a solitary person, that way I don't have to check my temper every time I am with somebody.

"He fears he might lose two great black soul hunters to reckless, emotional rushes," she continued.

"I gather I am one of them," I answered quietly, "who is the other one?"

"Axel Chaos," she said. She took a seat on the couch right in front of me, she gave me a sly smile, "you two have a lot in common."

It was my turn to return her a silence look. My eyes deep in thought.

"I would like you to talk to him, mentor him," she said.

"You are asking me to do you a favour?" I asked suddenly surprised. Shizuma had never asked favours before, she was a loner, just like myself. Maybe that was why I could relate to her and allow her into my otherwise silent world.

"I'd rather call it a therapy," a smirk on her pale,-pretty-, face. "He could use a friend, and I guess you too."

A smile sat on my lips, I stood up and took my swords. Her expression was that of mingled delight and astonishment.

"What?!" I asked in mirth, "am I not allowed to do a favour for a friend once in a while?" I walked out of the room. I knew she was laughing inwardly at me. When I reached the door I turned around and look at her, "someone day," I said, "I will tell you everything you want to know." I walked out of the room without waiting for her reply. I talk little and barely share my thoughts to somebody, but Shizuma was different, although we talk on occasions and for short time, she has been the only person in this world to be able to strike up a conversation with me. I am kinda grateful for that.

I walked through the Academy, great architecture feature, with stone blocks making up the whole structures, massive wooden doors for each classroom and battle arena. Chains are hanging from the ceiling and massive stone stairs are located in the middle of the building. It was definitely a good place to be and study, I felt guilty I took it for granted these past three years. Soon I would leave the Academy behind and become a Black soul hunter, I would build up my name and become the best. My skills will overshadow the shame with which I grew up.

Now I know how to start my conversation with Axel, I mused, I will tell him to enjoy his last year in the Academy.  Once again, I felt silent as a graveyard, looking for Axel.

The End

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